ACC/Big 10 Challenge Pairings Announced: Can the ACC Regain Control?

The ACC and SEC BlogSenior Analyst IMay 12, 2010

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 27: Marcus Landry #1 of the Wisconsin Badgers is heckled by the Cameron Crazies during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 27, 2007 in Durham, North Carolina. Duke defeated Wisconsin 82-58. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The ACC/Big 10 Challenge pairings are set with the ACC hoping to reclaim the title after losing it for the first time in 11 years.

The marquee matchup is defending national champion Duke hosting fellow Final Four mate Michigan State. The Blue Devils lost for the first time in the challenge last year at Wisconsin. The Spartans have the best record in the Big 10 at 5-5.

North Carolina goes on the road to face Illinois, a team with a very good incoming class. The Tar Heels will rely heavily on their talented class as well and look to be much deeper this coming year than they were last year.

Likely preseason top five Purdue travels to face Virginia Tech, a team that could be ranked in the top 25 with the return of Malcolm Delaney.

The ACC must be banking a lot on NC State's incoming class, as the Wolfpack have to travel to Madison to face Wisconsin. This looks like a potential mismatch to me.

Two other intriguing games are Ohio State at FSU and Georgia Tech at Northwestern. The Yellow Jackets look to have the advantage, but their road woes could haunt them against an experienced Wildcat team.

My gut feeling in May for these games is that the ACC goes 6-5 with UNC, FSU, Wake Forest (vs. Iowa), Duke, Boston College (vs. Indiana), and Maryland (@ Penn State) all victorious.

Monday, November 29th
Virginia @ Minnesota

Tuesday, November 30th
North Carolina @ Illinois
Ohio State @ Florida State
Michigan @ Clemson
Georgia Tech @ Northwestern
Iowa @ Wake Forest

Wednesday, December 1st
Michigan State @ Duke
Purdue @ Virginia Tech
North Carolina State @ Wisconsin
Indiana @ Boston College
Maryland @ Penn State

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